Academic Integrity Keynote


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Academic Integrity and the Culture of Sharing, keynote presentation for Academic Integrity week at the University of Saskatchewan, September 29, 2008.

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Academic Integrity Keynote

  1. 1. Academic Integrity and Alec Couros, PhD the Culture of Sharing University of Regina
  2. 2. Outline • Traditional views of and approaches toward academic integrity (AI). • Rise of the culture of openness, sharing, collaboration and remix. • How the shift informs our contemporary views of academic integrity, intellectual property, and (free) culture.
  3. 3. Academic Integrity != Plagiarism
  4. 4. Keywords: Text from top 10 Academic Google results, visualized using Wordle.
  5. 5. Definitions from Universities • “... the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception.” (Penn State) • “... is a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.” (CAI) • “... means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Professors have to obey rules of honest scholarship, and so do students.” (Oklahoma U.) • “... is the cornerstone of University life and scholarly communities. Professional academics, depend on each other to work with integrity to continually advance our understanding of the world through the development and dissemination of knowledge.” (York U.)
  6. 6. Definitions from Educators via Twitter
  7. 7. “Twenty-nine engineering students got 0, after professors caught them cheating on essays about professional ethics.”
  8. 8. “Cheating is not only commonplace but is also becoming increasingly sophisticated.” “Developing a system of codes and hand signals, pre-recording answers and storing them in audio recorders” creates a system where “students feel that education is less important than their grades”
  9. 9. “... the high rates don’t necessarily mean students in those programs are more likely to cheat. Rather, their professors may simply be taking cheating more seriously.”
  10. 10. “Students go to university for a higher education. They don’t go to be involved in a culture mistrust, a culture of guilt.”
  11. 11. “One hundred and forty-six students used the group to help each other with homework assignments.”
  12. 12. “Shouldn’t the teacher be reprimanded for hindering the ability of fertile and free-thinking academic minds to collaborate and learn and progress (in) the way in which they best see fit?” “The online culture is outpacing the curriculum and education system. These students are smart and using the Internet the way it should be used. This is the future of education.” Source
  13. 13. Statistical Overview 15% • Students identified whether or not they regularly attempted to cheat. The majority reported 15% that while they did not regularly cheat, their decision was swayed by the circumstances. 70% • Recent studies revealed that the Internet “provided more Do Not Cheat convenience to cheat and plagiarize. Web sites, e-mails, Will Always Try chat rooms, digital devices, and search engines all become tools May Be Swayed for plagiarism and cheating.” (Hongyan et. al, 2008) Survey Results (rounded), Couros, 2000
  14. 14. Why Do Students Plagiarize? •Poor time management and research skills. •Lack of interest in the subject or low self-confidence. •Lack of knowledge or ability to write/research a paper. •Mistakes made in note-taking/research. •Others plagiarize and are not caught. •Laziness or blatant disregard for copyright regulations. •Over-emphasis of grades vs. learning. •Lack of knowledge of what constitutes plagiarism or AI. •Educators show lack of integrity themselves. •Pressure from family, competition for scholarships/jobs. •Culturally based attitudes toward ownership of knowledge. Source: Penn State Libraries.
  15. 15. Paper Mills: Over 250 listed at Kimbel Library.
  16. 16. Traditional Approaches to Academic Integrity •Virtues Approach •Develop and nurture students who do not want to cheat. •Model ethical academic conduct through faculty. •Prevention Approach •Eliminate or reduce the opportunities to cheat. •Reduce the pressure to cheat. •Police approach •Catch and discipline those who are caught cheating. •Develop strong deterrents. •Use strategies and tools to check for cheating.
  17. 17. Timeline of Traditional Approaches to AI Formation of the Act of Cheating Intention to Cheat Academic Integrity Preventative Police or Detection and Character Approaches Approaches Approaches
  18. 18. Source: Centre for Academic Integrity
  19. 19. Source: Centre for Academic Integrity
  20. 20. Source: Centre for Academic Integrity
  21. 21. Proactive Prevention Techniques •Educators better understand why students cheat, and learn various, emerging forms of academic dishonesty. •Students helped to better understand plagiarism and importance of citing sources. •Assignment design: assignments made clear, topics changed often, citation/source innovation, focus on research/writing process, require oral reports, annotated bibliographies.
  22. 22. Rise of Openness, Sharing, Collaboration & Remix
  23. 23. how we view collaboration cathedral vs. the bazaar
  24. 24. how we view knowledge and creative works copyright vs. copyleft
  25. 25. The Hacker Ethic • Distinguish between the original hackers and those portrayed in the media. • Principles: sharing, community & collaboration, access, freedom of information, comp. for better society. • “... essential lessons can be learned about the world from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and more interesting things.” (Levy, 1984)
  26. 26. Tensions Opposing Forces Virtual Counterparts closed vs. open television vs. internet broadcast vs. conversation newspapers vs. blogging institution vs. individual telephones vs. skype hierarchy vs. network snail mail vs. email centralized vs. decentralized roller rinks vs. social networks product vs. remix courier vs. 3D copier planned vs. chaotic static vs. dynamic push vs. pull Adapted from Downes (2004)
  27. 27. Wesch on Numa Numa • “Numa Numa” is one of the most viewed videos in history. • Wesch’s explains the history of this Internet meme and brings light to how youth are connecting, remixing, synthesizing, and creating new knowledge.
  28. 28. Attribution via retweets
  29. 29. Attribution via trackback/ping
  30. 30. Attribution via CC/Flickr
  31. 31. Attribution via wiki history
  32. 32. Attribution via video response
  33. 33. “It’s amazing to see how a loose federation of worldwide volunteers can get from here ... to here, in a couple of years.” Udell (2004)
  34. 34. Openness and Academic Integrity
  35. 35. Understanding the Shift • Students are now connected in ways that we struggle to understand, and in some cases, choose to restrict. • Lessig, one of the founders of the Creative Commons, is an advocate of (re)creating, (re)use of content, to “say things differently.” • Sharing and collaboration are necessary forces within a creative and free culture.
  36. 36. 370 student registered 443 digital devices. 14 students brought desktop computers, 93 brought iphones/Touch devices. Only 5 students reported landline service. 432 of 438 new students on Facebook, College group had 3225 posts before start of school. Source: Academic Commons
  37. 37. Similar Values/Processes, Different Spaces/Tools • Attribution is relevant and necessary, even in a “free” culture. • How do we connect to learning preferences of students (e.g., mobile, personal portals, multimedia) • What are acceptable forms of collaboration and sharing? • Citation styles have evolved, but do we need a revolution to accommodate new forms of research?
  38. 38. “Any institutionally-created, operated, or controlled environment in which participants are lured in either by mimicking pre-existing open or naturally formed environment, or by force, through a system of punishments or rewards.” ~ Jared Stein Beware the “Creepy Treehouse”
  39. 39. The Importance of Knowledge Filters • The Internet has created a knowledge ecology where we have moved from a few gatekeepers, to many human filters. • The tools of social media simplify the process or reading, filtering, synthesizing, curating attributing, and sharing information. • Still, difficulty lies in forming knowledge networks based on trust, while avoiding the echo chamber effect.
  40. 40. “Education ... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.” ~Trevelyan (1942)
  41. 41. Understanding Copyright, Copyleft & Openness • Creative Commons and other copyleft licenses help give us access to quality tools, content, and other resources. • Openness has the potential to transform our educational institutions in terms of access and quality of resources. • Perhaps most important to AI, copyleft/openness gives us power to choose how we share, makes us interrogate when to do so, and provides an explicit mechanism for attribution.
  42. 42. The current era of intellectual property is waning. It has been based on two faulty assumptions made nearly three decades ago: that since some intellectual property (IP) is good, more must be better; and that IP is about controlling knowledge rather than sharing it. These assumptions are as inaccurate in biotechnology ... as they are in other fields from music to software. Source:Innovation Partnership
  43. 43. Why Do We Cite/Write? Core to Academic Integrity • “... creativity is often distributed over multiple processes, times, places, and creativity does not ‘reside’ in any single cognitive or personality process.” (Harrington, 1990) • “... in the process of discovering, creating, or adding to an original act’s potential value, a social system enters into and becomes an integral part of the creative process.” (Harrington, 1990)
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Photo and Video Credits (in order of appearance) • Videos: • - Wesch on Youtube • - Lessig TED Talk • - Udell Heavy Metal Umlaut • - Friedman on the Pencil • • • • • •
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